Martha Silano

I am the miraculous


the traffic running smoothly down Oak, the octopus’s
three-tenths of a second transformation from algae-leaf sprig

to many-tentacled astonishment. I’m the sacs and cells
that brought you into focus, the aqueous humour, the hyaloid canal

that gave you sight. I am every bit of physics–escape velocity,
magnetism (weak and strong), the mechanics of fluids,

the vectors and the vitreous, the noble gases, the birthing
and dying of stars. I am lightning’s formation, pipes and pumps,

pressure and power, the heat that is lost, the voltage rising.
I’m your blood’s pH, the trillions of microbes spinning

and twirling on every inch of your skin, the loud-and-clear-
from-two-miles-away whistling gibbon, the screaming vixen,

howl of the socially-satisfied wolf. All of me summed up
in one small artifact: a pair of fornicating froghoppers

entombed in sap. My sister: the helicopter dropping
5,000 tons of sand and clay and lead. My brothers:

the quarter million enlisted men who climbed
to life-time exposure, received a unique clean up medal.

My children: I bore thousands, each one named Incredulous.
Their children, the owls who fly to their breeding grounds

at the coldest hour of night.



My Environs


I say warbling vireo and
a turbo-jet drops from my tongue.

I say trill while a mower groans away
the cottonwood breeze. A bird says If I see you,

I’m gonna seize you and squeeze you till you squirt
as a line of cars slashes its psalm like lenticels

on bark. How best to solve this natural/
unnatural dichotomy if not by clapping

one or both hands? Scritch, says the squirrel,
x, x, x, say those who solve for y, bye-bye

says the glacial moraine. I am multiplying
existence times the peculiar tufts of dozing

owls. Mice make their own sound. Who
can say who’s more astonished? A person

mishears momentous as moment, falls into
a verdant complacency, sleepy as a dog

on a rug where nothing/everything’s in flux.

Martha Silano’s most recent books are Reckless LovelyWhat the Truth Tastes Like, and with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice. Martha edits Crab Creek Review and teaches at Bellevue College.